Part 2 (Part 1 follows) New York City’s Century 21 is not only full of less known brands or basic stuff at discounted prices.
My favourite section is located at the third floor. Part of it is dedicated to designer clothing and the world’s top brands: everything from Burberry, to Lanvin, Pucci, Armani, etc…
The brands may vary each season, but you can expect to find names such as Lanvin, Missoni, Pucci, Armani, Dolce and Gabbana, Moschino, Alberta Ferretti , Rochas, Sonia Rykiel, Jean Paul Gaultier, See by Chloe, Burberry, Acne, Paul Smith and of course the American Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren’s various ranges from the cheapest to the priciest.
Selection of items is quite impressive but usually one model comes in one size (unless you are realllllyyyy lucky). The bad news is that if you come in other season than winter or summer sales, the prices are usually still very high as you can expect around 50% discount of original price on average which still can be astronomic. Throughout the year, C21 offers some rather minor discounts on those items, offering say 1/3 price off such price. Still expensive!
It also has an allegedly super discounted evening dresses section, however even then the discounts don’t make it very attractive to purchase your evening wear there- see a typical example of an evening gown originally priced at 7.255 USD discounted 1.172.15 USD. But, honestly, I’ve seen better and more affordable places in the world to buy even the most impressive evening wear (see my earlier post on Valentino for example).
Conclusion: if you are coming outside of sales season, stock up some basic US designer stuff (socks, underwear, shirts, polos) and forget the luxury section.
I have a tip to share though: go there at sales season and especially the very end of it. If you are fortunate enough to be in New York City at that time, then you practically hit the jackpot, as situation at C21 in relation to the luxury designer wear gets very, very different. The “old” season clothing is usually very (!) heavily discounted to some ridiculous prices. Think 30 USD for 700 USD originally priced Michael Kors pants, 10 USD for Michael Kors dress, 70 USD for Phillip Lim dress or 30 USD for Carolina Herrera or Alberta Ferretti evening dress. I am not saying it will be easy though as you do have to be extremely lucky with sizes and open minded in case the items are a little defected (mainly due to being treated without much care throughout all season and being touched by hundreds if not thousands of shoppers browsing through the stuff searching for bargains). If that is no issue for you, dedicate significant number of hours to patiently browse through the stuff- the place is huge and the items are likely to be scattered across, so you have to look and search one by one. That can be very pleasant hunt though, as if you are successful of course, it all seems to be worth the effort. I usually find a piece, buy it, bring it to dry cleaning and the next day have a perfect piece for practically nothing! The deals are so amazing, that even if they are happening just twice a year, they earn C21 a place in my list of one of the world’s top luxury hunt places.
There are also some amazing savings to be made on accessories throughout the year- I will write about that soon in Part 3. Visit me again!